More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pulling Away from Someone Who is Dying

We knew the time for Nanny's passing was close. Her suffering was becoming unbearable. It was emotionally torturous for me to see her in such agitation and pain. The meds didn't seem to be working to ease her and dementia was getting worse. When I saw her at her 99th birthday party, she did not recognize me. She was begging Jesus and the angels to come and get her. I was trying so hard to hold back my tears that I triggered a migraine headache and ended up in bed part of the afternoon.

For the past few years, Nanny could not see or hear well. Her mind was not as sharp as it used to be and it became difficult to carry on a cohesive conversation. I stopped calling her. My trips to Georgia became less frequent as the chaos in my parents' home became more intense. Being one who is overly sensitive, I cannot in good consciousness judge anyone who pulls away when the emotional pain is too great to bear. I pulled away when my grandfather was ill--he lived next door to me at the time.

I used the five-hour drive as an excuse to pull away physically from my grandmother's suffering and from all the stress I saw my mother taking on. The household was in turmoil. My grandmother and I began connecting in spirit. As an intercessor and shaman, I was called to help her tie up loose ends so she could depart in peace. She was ascending and this would be her last incarnation on Earth. She had to stay until she had fully completed her mission. At last, she had sung all the colors of the rainbow.

The night before my grandmother died I was texting my mom. Less than a month prior, Nanny had been admitted to hospice care at home where she lived with my parents. She could no longer swallow, which meant she could not eat or drink. Mom and her sister took turns sitting beside the bed and holding Nanny's hand. That night she was having difficulty breathing.

As I told my mother goodnight, I fluffed my pillows and set my intention to connect with Nanny. I was sending her love and light when I began to feel a blissful energy enveloping my entire body and aura. I felt at one with everything and everyone. It was like I was incarnated as every person all at once. I realized by experience, and not just a head knowing, that I truly was one with all that is. God/Goddess had never seemed so real or tangible. I could hardly feel my body lying on the bed. I was floating in divine love. The peacefulness was so intense I could not help but let my tears of joy have their way. So this is what it is like to be pure essence and not have an individual body! Nanny was sharing with me what it feels like to be "dead." Ha ha! Dead is better than being tethered to a body. That's for sure.

It was this experience that gave me the grace to move through the next week with very few tears or sad emotions. I arrived to give last rites six hours after Nanny's spirit had slipped away from her suffering form. She looked like she was asleep as I drummed and sang to her. The undertaker arrived soon after and I helped him get Nanny's lifeless body onto the stretcher that would take her from the home she had shared with my parents for 16 years. The next days were spent making arrangements and preparing for the guests who were arriving from three states. Spending time casket-side with family that I had not seen in years was a side benefit--an unexpected family reunion. Then, came the joyful task of singing and playing at my beloved grandmother's funeral. My cousin and I led the congregation in a few hymns that we knew Nanny liked. It was like being in church together again--like old times we had shared in decades prior.

But not everyone was experiencing the blissful anointing of grace that I was enjoying. You see, when someone we love dies, it reminds us of every loss we have ever experienced. If we did not finish processing that grief, it comes up for a second round of healing when a new experience of grief is added to the mound of pain we have shoved under the carpet.

So when we see someone expressing tears and sobbing for someone we think they were not all that close to, it's not just about this current situation. It's about years of sorrow and painful emotions that have been repressed, which are now asking for release. Offer them a shoulder to cry on. Give them a hug to let them know you support their healing through tears. It has been said that tears are like an orgasm of the eyes--tears release pent up energy. Lighten their burden with a caring smile. We are in this life together. We are one in spirit!

For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on It's also on Amazon as an e-book. The audio book is also available!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Grandmother Visits Before Death

I walked in the kitchen on August 25 and felt a spirit presence. I asked who it was and I started smelling Dial soap and snuff. I instantly thought of my grandmother who was active in her dying process. She did not know me last time I visited her. Dementia sucks!

I went to take the clean clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer. Suddenly I had an an image in my mind of me and Nanny hanging clothes on the clothesline at the Oak Road house. We did that a lot in my younger years when she babysat me and my brother and our cousins. I lived next door to her for ten years when my kids were young. She babysat them too.

I thought I was just imagining the smell--something in my house. I walked out on the back porch and the smells followed me. I knew it had to be Nanny so I asked her what I could do for her.

She wanted me to play piano and sing at her funeral. I told her I would 40 years ago. She had not forgotten that promise and reminded me of it a few years ago. I told her then I did not think I could get through it without crying. But there was a special grace with this visitation and even though I did not know how much longer Nanny's spirit would animate a physical body, I knew I would be strengthened to do what I needed to do. I told her I would follow through with my promise to see her off with a song.

Nanny had an illness in 1952 and did not think she would live. She told me about this several times when I was younger. I wrote about it in my book, More Than Meets the Eye, so I'll post that excerpt here.

During the night I had what I thought was a dream. The angels lifted me from my body and took me out of the house and laid me down in a sandy spot in my front yard. Two white doves came and stayed with me all night. They were talking to me in a language I couldn’t understand. I could hear voices far away, and I saw a crowd of people wearing white robes who all looked the same. Without using words I asked the doves, “Where is my white robe?” One dove told me that I couldn’t have mine yet. “You have to wait a while,” he said, “You need to go back and finish raising your children.” I was disappointed. I didn’t want to go back. I wanted to join the people with the white robes. I came back but I had no desire to be here and didn’t want to live. It took a while for me to adjust to being here again. I knew there was a better place waiting for me on the other side. An experience like that never leaves you, and I have never been afraid of dying since then.

I asked her if the angel doves had her robe ready. She said, "It's almost time." She said for us not to cry for her too much. I promised her that our tears would be tears of gratitude for who she is and how she has blessed us all so much.

Less than a month later, my grandmother died. My cousin and I sang at her funeral. There was a tangible grace and peace that let me know Nanny was right there with us listening to our hymns and singing along with the family.

For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on It's also on Amazon as an e-book for those who have Kindle or Sony Readers. The audio book is now available!

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